Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez (13) celebrates with right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) after scoring a run in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves in game three of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Time To Send The Braves Home, Dodgers Look To Clinch NLDS In Game 4

Game 4 NLDS

Dodgers Lineup vs. Atlanta

Crawford 7
M.Ellis 4
Hanley 6
Gonzalez 3
Puig 9
Uribe 5
Schumaker 8
A.J. Ellis 2
Kershaw 1
 
(Crawford is playing but he’s sore, according to reports. Fight that rustiness Crawford)

Freddy Garcia vs. Ricky Nolasco   Clayton Kershaw

I was thinking about rewriting this whole thing, but I though nah, all I need to do is point to the tweet above sent out by the club about ten minutes ago. Kershaw will start tonight on three days rest. The Dodgers are going for the knockout blow. Mamma said to knock you out Atlanta. Pow! Oh and here is how the Braves hit against Kershaw. See you at game time!

 Vs. Kershaw

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

OBP

   SLG
Justin Upton

34

32

3

1

1

0

2

2

10

.094

.147

.188

Chris Johnson

15

15

2

1

0

0

1

0

5

.133

.133

.200

Paul Janish

12

11

2

0

0

0

0

1

0

.182

.250

.182

Freddie Freeman

7

5

2

0

0

1

1

2

2

.400

.571

1.000

Jason Heyward

7

7

0

0

0

0

0

0

6

.000

.000

.000

Jose Constanza

3

3

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

.333

.333

.333

Evan Gattis

3

2

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

.500

.667

.500

Elliot Johnson

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

.000

.000

.000

Reed Johnson

3

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

.333

.333

.333

Brian McCann

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

.000

.333

.000

Jordan Schafer

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

.000

.000

.000

Andrelton Simmons

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

2

.000

.333

.000

Gerald Laird

2

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

.500

.500

.500

Kris Medlen

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

.000

.000

B.J. Upton

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

.000

.000

Total

100

92

13

2

1

1

5

8

32

.141

.210

.217

And pick out a nice comfy spot on their couches to watch the rest of the postseason. Sorry Braves, but you gotta go. I think I just had my first real Baseballgasm on Sunday night after the Dodgers incredible 13-6 rout of the Braves in game 3 of the NLDS. The win gave the Dodgers a 2-1 series lead, and put them on the brink of advancing to the NLCS. Who they would face is still up in the air. Man what a ride this is.

Stacie and I had a blast in game 3. We laughed, we had a chuckle at the Braves fans, and we celebrated Dodger blue. This was a great game. A tremendous performance in what was the most important game of the season. Stacie and I were complaining before the game about Carl Crawford leaving so many runners on base, and grounding into a double play, and striking out to end the game with the tying run on base. But this was something else. Once Crawford hit that home run, I knew everything would be alright, and it was. This was the game of Carl Crawford’s life. Imagine if Crawford were to really be playing for his life, this is how he would play. Perhaps the beard threatened him with pre-dominoes? We’ll never know, but this could not have gone any better. Have a game Carl Crawford. There’s still talent within Crawford I feel. Deep inside of that rusty shell of a body there’s still a great player. That’s the way I’ve always felt at least. I would love to see the real Crawford come out to play, and he did last night.

Ricky Nolasco-Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

You too Puig, and Hanley Ramirez is a golden god. A GOD! In Hanley we trust. My goodness, thank you Miami. Thank you so much. Tonight the Dodgers have a chance to clinch at home. This is something special. This team is special. Special I say. Special!

The question is, to Kersh? Or Not to Kersh? Should the Dodgers start Clayton Kershaw in three days rest, essentially ending the series? Or should the Dodgers start scheduled starter Ricky Nolasco and save Kershaw just in case of a game five back in Atlanta? According to the club, they’re sticking with Nolasco. Meanwhile the Braves are sticking with their scheduled starter, right hander Freddy Garcia, because of LOLZ.

Man Freddy Garcia is old. I almost forgot how old he is. The 37 year old might have been having a bad year, but he does have a lot of playoff experience. Garcia has pitched in the postseason with Seattle in the early 00 years, and with the White Sox and Yankees. He’s posted a 6-3 record, and a 3.28 ERA in ten postseason games dating back to 2000. During the regular season, Garcia was 3-5 with a 5.77 ERA with Baltimore, and is 1-2 with a 1.65 ERA with Atlanta. He’s definitely pitched better with the Braves, allowing five runs in a little over 27 fames, and whiffing 20 against only five free passes. Garica hasn’t pitched at Dodger Stadium for a while, but is 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA in four career starts against the Dodgers, and is 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA at Dodger Stadium. Garcia has not pitched since September 24. The Dodgers haven’t seen him for some time.

Freddy Garcia-Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Not that we’re scared of Garcia. Because we’re not. The Dodgers are so not scared that they’re willing to hold Kershaw back in case there is a game five and start Ricky Nolasco instead. Well Nolasco is the scheduled starter, but many people are clamoring for Kershaw. I can’t blame them, but I believe we should save him just in case of a game five.

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

Michael Young

46

44

12

2

0

0

3

0

6

.273

.261

.318

Carl Crawford

28

26

7

1

1

1

2

2

2

.269

.321

.500

Nick Punto

26

25

5

0

0

0

0

0

5

.200

.200

.200

Mark Ellis

19

16

4

1

0

0

0

2

4

.250

.333

.313

Adrian Gonzalez

18

16

4

1

1

0

2

2

2

.250

.333

.438

Juan Uribe

9

8

1

1

0

0

0

0

2

.125

.125

.250

Hanley Ramirez

8

8

3

1

0

1

2

0

3

.375

.375

.875

Total

154

143

36

7

2

2

9

6

24

.252

.278

.371

Nolasco beat the Braves back on July 3, by limiting the Braves to two runs through six frames, and whiffing seven. Nolasco’s numbers versus the Braves are scary though. Nolasco is 6-10 with a 5.11 ERA and 163 hits in 132 frames. Most of the Braves don’t have a whole lot going off of him though, except for one guy. I thought this was a typo at first. It’s not though. Brian McCann owns Nolasco. The catcher has hit eight home runs against Nolasco. McCann is batting .345 (20 for 58), with 23 runs driven in, and an OPS over 1.000 off of Nolasco. The Dodgers better be careful. The Braves have hit 11 home runs against Nolasco. Watch out for Heyward too. And just in case Kershaw does start somehow, remember the Braves are hitting .141 (13 for 92) with a .427 OPS against.

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

  BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

Brian McCann

61

58

20

4

0

8

23

2

9

.345

.361

.828

Jason Heyward

27

23

8

2

1

1

1

3

2

.348

.444

.652

Freddie Freeman

26

25

6

1

0

1

2

1

5

.240

.269

.400

B.J. Upton

17

16

3

0

0

0

1

1

6

.188

.235

.188

Justin Upton

16

14

3

0

0

0

4

2

4

.214

.313

.214

Paul Janish

14

12

2

1

0

0

0

2

2

.167

.286

.250

Chris Johnson

12

12

4

0

0

0

1

0

4

.333

.333

.333

Jordan Schafer

8

7

2

0

1

0

0

1

0

.286

.375

.571

Jose Constanza

7

7

2

1

0

0

0

0

1

.286

.286

.429

Mike Minor

4

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

.000

.000

.000

Andrelton Simmons

3

3

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

.333

.333

.333

Kris Medlen

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

.000

.000

.000

Reed Johnson

1

1

1

0

0

1

2

0

0

1.000

1.000

4.000

Total

198

183

52

9

2

11

35

12

37

.284

.330

.536

Of course the two clubs could change their minds at the last minute and we could see a Kris Medlen versus Clayton Kershaw match-up. I doubt that though. Nolasco will start against Garcia, and the Dodgers will save Kershaw.

The Dodgers are in the driver’s seat, with a 2-1 series lead. Another win tonight can clinch the series win. Tonight I will be returning to the comfort of my living room couch as Stacie will provide the coverage for tonight’s game. Let’s wrap this up boys ok? I don’t ever want to hear that annoying chant ever again. Go Blue!

Game time-6:30 PM

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Tags: A.J. Ellis Adrian Gonzalez Carl Crawford Don Mattingly Freddy Garcia Hanley Ramirez Juan Uribe Los Angeles Dodgers Mark Ellis Ricky Nolasco Yasiel Puig

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